If you’re studying the Middle Ages and Renaissance with your kids, this booklist is for you. It’s a short list of delightful picture book read-alouds for the whole family.

At Read-Aloud Revival, we believe that picture books are worthwhile for everyone. They’re an art gallery in your lap, paired with exquisite text that leaves you richer for the reading experience. That’s why this entire list is comprised of picture books!

Another benefit:

if you happen to be short on time, committing to reading aloud from a picture book is less of a commitment than a novel or chapter book.

Your older kids are likely to enjoy these books every bit as much as your younger ones. And I bet you’ll learn a thing or two, as you’re reading along!

If you have older kids…

you’ll especially enjoy the books on this list written by Diane Stanley:

Diane Stanley’s picture books contain longer, more detailed text, making them excellent choices for older listeners.

Want to take this list with you to the library? 

Get the printable booklist

MIDDLE AGES & RENAISSANCE

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Books for the Middle Ages:

Middle Ages
Castle

Castle

FROM THE PUBLISHER

The word itself conjures up mystery, romance, intrigue, and grandeur. What could be more perfect for an author/illustrator who has continually stripped away the mystique of architectural structures that have long fascinated modern man? With typical zest and wry sense of humor punctuating his drawing...

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Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction

Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Readers worldwide recognize Caldecott Medal winner David Macaulay's imaginary Cathedral of Chutreaux. This critically acclaimed book has been translated into a dozen languages and remains a classic of children's literature and a touchstone for budding architects. Cathedral's numerous awards include ...

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Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

As a young boy in medieval Italy, Leonardo Fibonacci thought about numbers day and night. He was such a daydreamer that people called him a blockhead.

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A Medieval Feast

A Medieval Feast

FROM THE PUBLISHER

The king is coming to visit! The lord and lady of Camdenton Manor must work quickly to prepare fo his arrival. It will take weeks to ready rooms, set up tents, and prepare the feast itself. Everyone is busy hunting and hawking, brewing and churning. This will be a feast to remember!

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Brother Hugo and the Bear

Brother Hugo and the Bear

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

A clever tale that will charm book lovers Brother Hugo can't return his library book -- the letters of St. Augustine -- because, it turns out, the precious book has been devoured by a bear! Instructed by the abbot to borrow another monastery's copy and create a replacement, the hapless monk painstak...

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Chanticleer and the Fox

Chanticleer and the Fox

FROM THE PUBLISHER

King of the barnyard, Chanticleer struts about all day. When a fox bursts into his domain, dupes him into crowing, and then grabs him in a viselike grip, Chanticleer must do some quick thinking to save himself and his barnyard kingdom. Winner, 1959 Caldecott MedalNotable Children's Books of 1940–1...

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Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

As a young girl in a small village in France, Joan prayed daily that France would be delivered from the English and Burgundian invaders who were ravishing the country. When Joan was thirteen, she had a life-changing experience.

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Saint Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis of Assisi

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Saint Francis of Assisi is one of the most beloved and inspirational figures in the history of Christianity. The stunning illustrations of award-winning author, Demi, bring to life the story of this son of a rich merchant, who abandoned all his worldly goods in order to follow the teachings of Jesus.

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The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur

The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur

FROM THE PUBLISHER

The creators of the Caldecott Medal book, Saint George and the Dragon, tell the Arthurian tale of Sir Gareth of Orkney's first adventure. The Knights of the Round Table were in their glory. When an unknown stranger visits the castle and asks Kin Arthur's favor, he is allowed to serve in the kitchen...

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Saint George and the Dragon

Saint George and the Dragon

FROM THE PUBLISHER

This special new paperback edition of St. George and the Dragon commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Caldecott Award-winning picture book. Hodges retells an exciting segment from Spenser's The Faerie Queene, in which the Red Cross Knight slays a dreadful dragon that has been terrorizing the coun...

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The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane

The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

C.M. Millen’s charming story of a young monk who defied the discipline of the monastery and found his own way to express the beauty of the world will inspire young readers to explore their own world and find their own voices.

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Francis Woke Up Early

Francis Woke Up Early

FROM THE PUBLISHER

While other children’s religious titles focus on Saint Francis of Assisi as an adult, few, if any, have concentrated on the early life of the patron saint of animals and the environment. Stunning illustrations punctuate this beautifully told story of Saint Francis as a boy.

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The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica

The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Offers the tale about two amazing twins, Benedict and Scholastica, and their experiences as children in northern Italy that influenced their great accomplishments in their adult lives.

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The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry

The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Gentle verse and sweeping, majestic artwork set imaginations soaring in a handsome and illuminating ode to the ancient art of falconry.

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Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Against the fascinating tapestry of France's history during the Hundred Years' War, Diane Stanley unfolds the story of the simple thirteen-year-old village girl who in just a few years would lead France to independence from English rule.

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Books for the Renaissance:

Renaissance
William Shakespeare & the Globe (Trophy Picture Books (Paperback))

William Shakespeare & the Globe (Trophy Picture Books (Paperback))

FROM THE PUBLISHER

From Hamlet to Romeo and Juliet to A Midsummer Night′s Dream, Shakespeare′s celebrated works have touched people around the world. Aliki combines literature, history, biography, archaeology, and architecture in this richly detailed and meticulously researched introduction to Shakespeare′s world.

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Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare

Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare

FROM THE PUBLISHER

William Shakespeare was the son of a glovemaker, a small-town boy with a grammar school education. Yet he grew up to become the greatest English-speaking playwright in the world. Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare is both his story and that of a great art rediscovered in the modern world.

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The Clown of God

The Clown of God

FROM THE PUBLISHER

In this retelling of the old French legend, a juggler offers to the Christ Child the only Christmas gift he has.

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I, Galileo

I, Galileo

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Acclaimed author-illustrator Bonnie Christensen adopts the voice of Galileo and lets him tell his own tale in this outstanding picture book biography. The first person narration gives this book a friendly, personal feel that makes Galileo's remarkable achievements and ideas completely accessible.

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Pippo the Fool

Pippo the Fool

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Was Pippo the Fool really Pippo the Genius? The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence was a marvel of art, architecture, and engineering. But it lacked a finishing ornament, a crown--a dome! The city fathers had a solution: to invite the finest masters to compete for the chance to design a dome.

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Marguerite Makes a Book

Marguerite Makes a Book

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Paris in the 1400s. A young girl named Marguerite delights in assisting her father, Jacques, in his craft: illuminating manuscripts for the nobility of France. His current commission is a splendid book of hours for his patron, Lady Isabelle, but will he be able to finish it in time?

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Michelangelo

Michelangelo

FROM THE PUBLISHER

With her thoroughly researched, lively narrative and superbly detailed illustrations, Diane Stanley has captured the life of an artist who towered above the late Renaissance--and whose brilliance in architecture, painting, and sculpture amazes and moves us to this day.

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Good Queen Bess : The Story of Elizabeth I of England

Good Queen Bess : The Story of Elizabeth I of England

FROM THE PUBLISHER

She was a queen whose strong will, shrewd diplomacy, religious tolerance and great love for her subjects won the hearts of her people and the admiration of her enemies.

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MIDDLE AGES & RENAISSANCE

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